Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Eeeeewwww! Broccoli Woes

(Innocent enough, looking little broccoli head, but what lies in the head?)

We have grown broccoli for a couple of years now, but this year we decided to get serious. It takes a lot of broccoli to feed our family just one meal, so I multiplied the amount of plants we planted by about 10!
(here are many of our broccoli plants)

I remember the very first year we planted broccoli. I was so excited to harvest and steam some for our meal. When I saw all the green worms I just about got sick. In a panic, I threw it all away. When I told a dear friend she couldn't stop laughing. She said, 'you just soak it in some salt water and they all die and float to the top.' I didn't care, if they were dead or alive, I was not going to eat broccoli, ever, ever again!

Well, I have grown some and if I harvest the broccoli and clean it and put it in the fridge for a couple of days, hopefully so I can get the image of squishy green worms out of my mind, then I might be able to eat it.

(These are the amount of worms I got out of a handful of broccoli heads!)

One way to look at it is that those little critters are added protein. Eeeeewwww!

Next year I will cover them with a special cloth that keeps the critters from laying eggs and therefore keeps the worms out. For now, I do my best to keep the worms a secret, soak in salt water and close my eyes and eat really fast.

I know, I am such a wimp. I am in good company though, when I was reading about a natural insecticide that said it gets nearly all of the worms, my son said, 'nearly' is not good enough!

What about you? Do you grow broccoli? Do you have worms too? What do you do about them?


Farmgirl Cyn said...

I don't grow broccoli, but I remember many, many years ago going out to a you-pick farm and getting a bushel of broccoli to blanche and freeze. Got it home, soaked it, and all these nasties come out! We brought the whole lot of it back to the farm and got our $$$ back!

Rachel said...

No NO Nooooooo!!

This is the first year I'm growing broccoli and now I'm terrified of those worms. Ackk!!!

I need to go look at it. NOW.

Have a great Tuesday.

cooperkelly4 said...

no broc here, and no worms either. =0)

Vicki said...

I have the broccoli woes too. I was sick this year and didn't get mine covered like I had planned - soooo many worms. Plus our weather didn't cooperate and the heads were bolting before there was enough to eat. I pulled the whole crop and tossed it in the compost/chicken run. I'll try again next year.

J said...

Ick. Oh, ick. So sorry you're experiencing this. I tried to grow broccoli and got a few stalks - maybe enough for one meal, but I didn't encounter any worms.

I was over at Camille's blog today and she posted a wonderful recipe for homemade chocolate shell - it uses chocolate chips and coconut oil. Here's the link:


When I saw the recipe, I had to share it with you! :)

Jenn said...

Yep! I've got them too. I never thought of covering the broccoli. I will definitely cover next year.

Coby said...

I was considering growing broccoli, but not now!!! ;-) Ewwwwww! I'm such a wimp - that image would forever be etched in my mind!

Michelle (She Looketh Well) said...

Thanks, J, for the link.

Okay ladies, you can't not grow broccoli, you have to be brave like me . . .not!

The Gilmore Family said...

Hi Michelle, Yes, we grow broccoli and we get worms. I soak them in salt water just like you did. It works. Then I take the chickens get a feast as well. Nothing wasted in our garden, not even worms.
Karen from MS

The Gilmore Family said...

Correction I take the WORMS to the chickens and they get a feast. Sorry...

Camille said...

LOL...I have never grown broccoli, but I did have an experience with those worms once. I made a stir fry for dinner and half way through my plate of food I shrieked...there was (if I remember correctly) HALF of one of those worms nestled in my broccoli. OH. DEAR. ME. I don't believe I finished my plate like a "good girl"!! :)

Have a great (worm free) night!

regina said...

This was my first year to grow broccoli. The worms were terrible. I don't know if I can eat it or grow it again.

busymomof10 said...

i have grown broccoli in the past, and yes, I had a bunch of worms. Like you, I soaked it in salt water, but I really lost my taste for broccoli!! Now that we are so far south, we just don't seem to get our garden planted in time for the cool weather crops, such as lettuce and broccoli. Happy de-worming and eating! ;)

Jenni said...


I got a book from the library that had a recipe for how to keep those worms out of your broccoli. You take flour and cayenne pepper. I think it was one cup of flour to some cayenne pepper. They flour makes the worms bellies expand and I think (I know this might sound gross) they explode. Also it recommended putting 4 foot sticks near your broccoli and that would attract birds that would then eat your worms. I thought it was an inexpensive idea and just might have to try both of them.


Kristin said...

We've *tried* to grow broccoli, but never have any success. The heads start out perfect and when they're about twice the size of the heads in your first picture they turn yellow and the plants flower out. Are we doing something wrong?? I'd be willing to deal with the worms if I could actually GROW the stuff! LOL

Michelle (She Looketh Well) said...

Kristin, all I know to do is pick it before it flowers. Even if it is small. We were able to get many, many pickings from our broccoli this year. I just had to give up the idea that the heads were going to get as big as the heads in the store. oNce I did that, and picked them early, every thing was fine.